CITY of Swan residents are invited to attend one of two free workshops at the Swan Italian Club this month, set up to help people put pen to paper and improve the way local governments are run.
Workshop organiser and Midland resident Rashelle Predovnik said the Local Government Act was being reviewed for the first time in 20 years and this was an opportunity to push for some ‘commonsense’ reform.
Ms Predovnik said the review, which can be done online, was 136-pages long but most people wouldn’t have the time to trawl through it.
“I’ve condensed the online questions into a few pages that will be easy to fill in,” she said.
“It’s also important for the elderly and those without a computer to have their say.”
Ms Predovnik said the workshop event would help people do submissions for the review which in phase one would cover meeting community expectations of standards and performance.
It also covers transparency, access to information, red tape reduction, recruiting the chief executive officer and the chief executive’s performance review.
Ms Predovnik said phase two of the review would cover improving financial management, which was timely as this year’s rates would soon be set.
She said ongoing calls for better financial management were growing louder and Swan residents were continuing to question the city’s ongoing rate hikes during the current economic downturn.“Property prices fell in 2017 and experts are predicting further price falls in 2018,” she said.
“So ratepayers are questioning why their rates are continuing to climb and why the City isn’t seriously cutting its spending.”
Ms Predovnik said complaints from residents included reports to council containing incorrect data and poor public consultation.
Other common complaints included hefty consultant fees being paid for reports that got shelved, poor planning decisions and the City ignoring its own planning guidelines.
But Ms Predovnik said the event was not a City of Swan ‘bashing’ exercise.
“This review is a great opportunity to push for better transparency, accountability and openness across the whole sector,” she said.
The workshops will be held at the Swan Italian Club on Sunday, February 18 from 2pm-5pm and Sunday, February 25 from 2pm-5pm.For more information call Rashelle on 0468 849 344.